Boreal Forest Facts

Boreal Forest Facts
The boreal forest is considered to be a wonder of the natural world, spanning a great deal of the Northern Hemisphere's land. The boreal forest is characterized by its diverse coniferous tree species, unique plants, animal species, bird species, and lakes and wetlands. The boreal forest is also referred to as the taiga, or snow forest, and it covers much of Canada, Alaska, some of the northern U.S. states, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Iceland, Russia, northern Kazakhstan, northern Japan, and northern Mongolia. The boreal forest covers just less than 30% of forest cover in the world, with the largest regions in Canada and in Russia.
Interesting Boreal Forest Facts:
The boreal forest includes a wide diversity of coniferous tree species including balsam fir, white birch, red pine, jack pine, eastern white cedar, poplar, white spruce, and black spruce.
The boreal forest is home to a variety of bird species, some that live there permanently and some that migrate depending on the season. Some of the birds found in the boreal forest include kingfishers, owls, hummingbirds, hawks, woodpeckers, and even vultures. There are also many songbirds in the boreal forest.
The boreal forest is home to many large mammal species including black bears, grizzly bears, wolves, caribou, moose, reindeer, sheep, foxes, polar bears, giant pandas, wolverines, elk, mountain goats, wild boars, Siberian tigers, lemmings, and deer.
Smaller mammal species that make the boreal forest their home include bats, beavers, squirrels, flying squirrels, chipmunks, raccoons, rabbits and hares, river otters, badgers, moles, and picas.
Marine mammals that can be found in the boreal region waters include northern fur seals, walruses, harbour seals, harp seals, humpback whales, beluga whales, narwhals, killer whales, and dolphins.
The boreal forest is also home to a wide variety of insects including grasshoppers, bees, ants, butterflies, dragonflies, beetles, and even mosquitos.
There are forest management programs in place to protect the ecosystem of the boreal forest. The programs exist in Russia, Scandinavia, the U.S., and in Canada, where much of the boreal forest of the world exists.
The quality of soil in the boreal forest is inferior to that of the soil found in deciduous forests, partly because of the colder climate. The fallen leaves and moss do not always decompose into the soil, and the needles from the evergreen trees tend to be acidic.
The boreal forest is susceptible to fire, insects and disease, which in Canada destroys or disrupts 1% of the total boreal forest each year. Trees do regrow however. Because of the fires there are not many regions in Canada where boreal forest is older than 100 years. There are a few stands of white spruce that are more than 250 years old, but not many.
Global warming and climate change are making it easier for tree-damaging insects to survive in the boreal forest. Climate change and warming of the earth are also resulting in reduced tree growth in the boreal forest.
As the temperatures across the world rise, the boreal forest is being replaced in its more southern regions by temperate forest, parkland, or grassland.

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